Scent Intense EDP by Costume National

Year: 2002
Nose: Laurent Bruyere

This fragrance completely got me. I had the same instant "feeling" I had with Cuiron, both the first time I tried it years ago, and when I bought myself a bottle some weeks ago after years of memories. Same "wow" vibe, which reminds me of the difference between loving a scent being totally blown away by it, and just liking it – that's a healthy reminder thanks to which I regularly sell some fragrances I realise I just "like". I thought of Cuiron also for a sort of slight and broad similarity between the two – same era, same "concept", same synthetic approach. I still think Cuiron was and is probably more daring and more "revolutionary", but Scent Intense comes just a tiny step below. Well however, Scent Intense has basically a perfect balance of two winning features: it's done extremely well, and smells terribly good. That kind of good you keep coming back to smell it and run buying a backup bottle. On my skin it's not that dark, though: it opens with a white-luminous, juicy and fruity accord of tea and hibiscus, which has basically a lively and fruity smell too, with a hint of spices (cloves, perhaps), a subtle balsamic vein, and a cozy, mellow, grey-black synthetic amber-woody base (I guess cashmeran, that sort of restrained velvety aromatic base aroma). After a while it also emerges a slight smoky note, and on the drydown, the salty taste of aldehydes gets a prominent role. The result is a nondescript blend which manages to be just a bit dark, dusty, "black" like if a drop of trisamber was used here, but at the same incredibly bright, dense and tasty, with the translucent aspect provided by aldehydes. Utterly sophisticated as well. I must admit it's quite hard to describe the scent, the best I can think of is a tea-amber bone-structure, slightly powdery, surely fruity-floral, with a palpable dose of aldehydes which gives a metallic-salty feeling. All in quite a unique way, let's say "minimalist-avantgarde", with a brilliant, smart and creative use of synthetics: the amber accord is not a classic, dusty, embracing, warm amber, instead it's a sort of black cube of with an ambery fog inside: that's the visual feeling. The smell is somehow that, but it feels restrained and "encapsulated" in an artificial layout. All the scent is actually a sort of geometrical and rather simple structure of synthetic notes, which however manage to smell simply and *terrifically* good, cozy and pleasant. Which is an ultra rare thing: usually such "avantgarde" scents do smell interesting, challenging, smart, fascinating, but in my opinion, they rarely manage to smell at the same time "good" and cozy in a classic, "popular" meaning (as a scent is supposed to smell, in the end: pleasant). For example, I am also a huge fan of Slumberhouse, but I doubt I'll ever get compliments on the subway for Zahd or Vikt – the are unbelievable scents, but they surely don't smell "good"; while instead, Scent Intense is the perfect "good-smelling" scent which may actually get you lots of compliments from "normal people". We are still lucky this unbelievable gem is still on sale, and for quite a decent price. Also, perfect projection (it's one of those scents you can better smell "in the sillage" than on skin) and long persistence. Surely worth a try! To me it was actually worth the blind buy.


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